Bulldogs go to playoff quarterfinals at Norfolk's Veterans Memorial Field

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Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 6:26 am | Updated: 8:07 am, Mon Nov 5, 2018.

A freshman Bulldog receiver took the opening kickoff of last Wednesday’s playoff game to the house, scoring just 11 seconds into the game at Bill Harder Memorial Field in Creighton.

Cade Hammer raced 72 yards for the touchdown, unleashing the Bulldogs, who ran away to a 58-6 halftime lead.

By the halfway mark, the Zimmerer boys, quarterback Brayden, and his go-to  running back, Bryce, had teamed up for 260 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, running through holes punched open by senior linemen Travis Tyler, JD Kuhlman, Cameron Tyler and company.

Bryce Zimmerer, a senior, got away with 118 yards and four TDs, and fetched two passes for 15 yards. He also had seven tackles and assisted on one as a defender.

Brayden Zimmerer, a junior, found the end zone three times, on runs of 56, 31 and 15 yards, and completed five of six passes for another 86 yards. On the defensive side of the ball, he had nine solo tackles and two assists, along with retreiving a Gator pass.

Junior Sam Van Metre caught two passes for 60 yards and junior Thad Hazen caught one for 11 yards and ran for 19.

Terrance Burrell, also a junior, kicked off eight times in the first half, each time putting the football within 10 yards of the end zone.

The Gators only TD against the varsity Bulldogs came after a kickoff was returned from the 5-yard line to Creighton’s 36. The Gators took the ball to the end zone after a 10-play drive that began late in the first quarter.

An attempt to run at first-and-goal was stopped by Creighton junior Clay Curtis, and he and Hazen nearly picked off the second-and-goal pass, but the WP receiver got his hands around it and the Gators were on the board.

Defensively, the varsity dog pack limited Wisner-Pilger to 116 yards and the single touchdown in the first half, behind leader-of-the-pack Travis Tyler, who attacked the Gators five times for negative yardage, in one instance, taking down an offensive blocker and the ball carrier at the same time, one in each arm. Three times, he sacked the quarterback, for a total 25 negative yards. He also forced a fumble and blocked a punt that Cameron Tyler recovered on the Wisner-Pilger one-yard line, setting up Bryce Zimmerer’s second TD.

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The 58-6 halftime score initiated a running clock for the second half. Creighton Coach Zac Kliment sent the reserves in on the Bulldogs’ first drive of the half.

The young Bulldogs allowed one touchdown - in the fourth quarter - and finished out the 66-12 victory when quarterback Sam Vortherms called his own number and scampered two yards for a TD and Logan Eggers ran for two points.

The Bulldogs had no turnovers, self recovering their two fumbles. They found themselves in third-down situations just three times and saw one fourth down, late in the third quarter. Brenden Waldow punted once, a 32-yard kick late in the game. The Bulldogs had the ball back two plays later when a WP fumble was recovered by Dylan Kuhlman, setting up Vortherms’ TD.

Wisner-Pilger saw 13 third downs, converting just three, and handed the ball over to Creighton twice on fourth down. The team punted four times and was penalized 40 yards for five offenses.

The Bulldogs drew four flags, also penalized 40 yards.

The 10-0 Bulldogs will travel to Veterans Memorial Field, located in Norfolk’s Veterans Memorial Park at 309 N 5th Street, to face the 9-1 Lutheran High Northeast Eagles in the Class D1 playoff quarterfinals next Tuesday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

The Eagles punched their ticket to the quarterfinals with a 66-26 road win over Osceola-High Plains, the 13-seed team that upset defending D1 champion Bruling-Davenport/Shickley in the first round.

Guardian Angel Central Catholic advances to the east side D1 quarterfinals with a 40-34 win over Howells-Dodge. GACC, 9-1 on the season, will face number two-seed Exeter-Milligan/Friend (10-0) at Milligan. EMF eliminated Fullerton with a 40-28 victory in Friend.

On the west side, top-seed Burwell (10-0) will host 6-4 Arcadia-Loup City and North Central (7-3) will play 8-2 Dundy County-Stratton at Bassett.

Semifinals will be played on each side Monday, Nov. 12, with the victors heading to Memorial Stadium in Lincoln for the championship game, Nov. 19.

In D2 playoff action, undefeated Bloomfield advanced with a win over Osmond and will face another undefeated team, Johnson-Brock in the quarters. Northeast Nebraska teams, Randolph, Hartington-Newcastle, Allen and Clearwater/Orchard were eliminated in the second round, while Wausa and Plainview’s seasons ended with first-round losses.

© 2018 The Creighton News . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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